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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-16-07 05:24 AM
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Colombia's Uribe urges congressmen on trade deal (American Democrats)
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Source: ABC News

Sunday, September 16, 2007
Colombia's Uribe urges congressmen on trade deal
By Patrick Markey

LLANOGRANDE, Colombia (Reuters) - Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe told visiting U.S. lawmakers on Saturday his government's record illustrated it was addressing Democrats' concerns over anti-union violence and impunity that have stymied their approval of a free trade deal.

After Democrats won control of the Congress in November, many doubted the future of U.S. trade deals with Andean countries. In Colombia U.S. lawmakers are particularly worried about attacks on union leaders, extrajudicial killings and a scandal tying some of Uribe's allies to illegal paramilitaries.

Uribe spoke after meeting with U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and a congressional delegation, who visited Medellin as part of a three-country tour meant to shore up support for free trade pacts in Colombia, Panama and Peru.

"The facts show what this government proposed from the beginning, that Colombia no longer tolerates impunity," Uribe told reporters after the meeting at a farm on the outskirts of Medellin, a city once notorious drug violence.

In a piece of political theater, Uribe climbed up on a white horse in front of a crowd, carrying a cup of Colombian coffee in his hand and raising a salute to the U.S. visitors.

Read more:

Who drinks coffee sitting on a horse, other than Colombia's right-wing pResident Uribe?
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